Happy Mother’s Day! We’re glad that you’re here to worship with us on this special day to honor mothers. God created mothers to play a vital role in raising children for Him. And to continue to pray for and teach them even when they start their own homes.
2 Timothy 1:5 (ESV) I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
In this verse, Paul is writing to Timothy of how Timothy came to faith in Jesus Christ. It began with Timothy’s grandmother Lois, who led her daughter Eunice to faith in Jesus. Eunice, Timothy’s mother led him to faith in Christ. As a godly mother follows God, she is able to pass her faith down to her children.
Godly mothers reflect God’s character to their children. Today, we want to honor all the mothers who are here today. Thank you for the love and sacrifice you have given over the years for your children. I’d like to ask all of the mothers to stand so that we can honor you on your special day. Let’s clap for them. We’d like to honor you with a flower, so stay standing until you receive your flower. Now, join with me as we pray for the mothers in our church family.
Father, thank you for the gift of mothers that show us examples of your love. We are grateful for the love and sacrifice that they have shown in raising us. Thank you for all the mothers who taught us about you and led their children in your ways. We ask that you bless each mother that is present here with us this morning. Encourage each one and help them to realize their importance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today, our message is entitled “Children of God.” Each believing mother is a child of God. As a child of God, she reflects God’s character to her children. The goal is that those children in turn may reflect God to others. Today, we’re going to learn more about how mothers, as God’s children, can demonstrate God’s character as they raise their children and beyond.
1 John 3:1 (ESV) See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
In the Bible, the term children of God refers to those who are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. In this verse, John is writing to fellow believers. He says that not only are they called children of God, they actually are. It is through God’s great love that we have been given the privilege of being His children. Unbelievers in the world are not children of God. Children of God are
1 John 3:2-3 (ESV) Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
God is at work in the lives of His beloved children. His love is transforming us more and more into being like Him, like Jesus. One day, when Jesus comes again, that transformation will be complete. We will be like Him when we see Him face to face. As we allow God to work in our lives as His children, as we put our hope in His transforming love, He purifies us. He removes the sin and helps us become pure like God as we are …
1 John 3:5-6 (ESV) You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
Jesus came to this earth to ultimately die on the cross that our sins might be forgiven. He lived His life on earth without sin and rose from the dead so that we might also be delivered from sin. Those who are His children do not keep on sinning. We know from earlier chapters in 1 John, that even as believers, we still sin. What John is talking about here is that children of God do not keep on sinning without repenting and turning away from that sin. People who knowingly keep on indulging in sin are not truly children of God.
Let’s see how these important truths apply to mothers. As a believing mother, you are a child of God, which is a wonderful privilege. You are being transformed by God’s love, each and every day. You are being delivered from sin as you grow in Christ. As a mother and child of God, your life reflects God’s character to your children. When they look at your life, your actions and your words, you are teaching them what God is like. As you are transformed by God’s love, that love flows through you to your children They will desire to become a child of God, just as you, their mother are. As you receive God’s forgiveness and sin less and less, so your children will learn to grow as children of God.
1 John 3:7 (ESV) Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
This verse warns us, as children of God, to not be deceived. The deception in question here is some taught that you can be righteous no matter how you lived your life. Many teach or believe that same false teaching today. The deception is that you can be a Christian and do whatever you want to do because your sins have all been forgiven. John tells us that those who are truly righteous, those who are truly saved will practice doing right things in their lives. If we are living right
1 John 3:8 (ESV) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
The wording in this verse is important. It does not say whoever sins is of the devil, but whoever makes a practice of sinning. In other words, you have a lifestyle of sinning and you have no intention of changing that lifestyle. Those who practice sin are not children of God, but are of the devil or children of the devil. Every person is either a child of God or a child of the devil. Jesus was righteous, so those who are His children, live righteously.
The devil has sinned from the beginning, so those who follow him, sin as he does. Jesus came to destroy the devil’s works and make it possible for people to be saved from sin. To become a child of God, you must be …
1 John 3:9 (ESV) No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
How does a person become a child of God? You must be born of God or as Jesus said, born again. Every person has been born physically, but to become a child of God, you must be born spiritually or born again. Those who are born of God do not make a practice of sinning. Why? Because as a child of God, you have the spiritual genetics of God. You cannot keep on sinning as a lifestyle because you have been born of God.
As a believing mother, your primary goal for your children, is to lead them to become children of God, to put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. How can you best accomplish that goal? The more that you live righteously as a child of God, the more your children will want to become children of God. To practice righteousness as a mother is not just to avoid sin. To practice righteousness is to teach your children what God is like, both through your words and your actions. As you set an example of Christ-like character to your children, as you teach them the truths of God’s Word, as you help them love the family of God in church, they will become children of God, and grow in their faith. Your faith will be passed down to your children, who in turn someday will pass their faith down to their children.
1 John 3:11 (ESV) For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
In the final verses of the passage this morning, we’re going to look at some specific ways that children of God live out their faith. Jesus taught in many ways that children of God should love one another. He said that just as He loved us, so we are to love one another. Who does one another refer to? It refers to other believers. Jesus said in John 13:35 (ESV) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” As we love one another, as we learn to be kind and gracious to other imperfect believers, people are drawn to Christ. As children of God, we show love …
1 John 3:13-14 (ESV) Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
The world in this verse refers to domain of Satan, which includes all unbelievers. Love is a characteristic of believers in the kingdom of God and hatred is a characteristic of unbelievers in the world. Sometimes, we may be surprised at how unbelievers hate the church and believers, but this is as it always is. As believers, we are to love one another. As all believers are children of God, other believers are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Not only are we to love one another, we are also to love those who are unbelievers, who hate us. The love that children of God have is expressed in …
1 John 3:16, 18 (ESV) By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. … Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
How do we express love for other believers? This verse tells us that the kind of love we are to have was exemplified by Christ dying on the cross for us. We show love by laying down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Now, for us today, this does not mean to lay down our physical lives. To lay down our lives for one another is to give of ourselves to help and show love. John concludes, that love is not just expressed in our words, but in our actions. We show love by being committed to compassion for others.
As a mother, God desires for you to show love, both for others in the church family and for your children. To lay down your life for your children, to give of yourself for their benefit. One of the most important ways a mother can show love for her children is to pray for them. Pray for them when they are in your home and when they start their own homes. The prayers of a believing mother are powerful and can work miracles.
Let me tell you a story of a praying mother. Back in 1820, a man named Peter Richley experienced a series of strange and inexplicable events. The ship he was traveling on sank and he was rescued. The rescuing ship also went down and Peter was rescued again. The third ship sank and Peter was rescued a third time by a fourth ship, which also sank. He was rescued a fourth time, but the fifth ship sank as well. As he was floating in the sea for the fifth time, he just knew that somehow God did not want him to die.
Finally, an ocean liner, bound from England to Australia came by and hoisted Peter aboard. They gave Peter dry clothes and an examination by the ship’s doctor showed no issues despite his previous ordeals. The doctor then told Peter that there was a lady on board bound for Australia in search for a son who had disappeared years ago. The lady was dying and in delirium was asking to see her son. The doctor said that she knew everyone on board, so he asked Peter if he would pretend to be her son.
Peter agreed and was led to the lady’s cabin where she lay suffering a very high fever. As he entered, she was crying out “Please God. Let me see my son before I die. I must see my son!” As Peter got closer to her, he began to sob, for the lady on the bed was his mother, Sarah Richley. For ten years, she had been praying to be reconciled to her son, Peter. Her prayers had kept him alive from drowning five times. Peter embraced his mother and said “I’m her Mom! I’m here! It’s me!” Within days her fever had subsided and she awakened to see the answer to her prayer seated on the edge of her bed. The power of a praying mother.
As a believing mother, you are a child of God. He loves you and has transformed you by His love. God will help you share His love with your children. Teaching them by example and word. Praying for your children daily, whether they are at home or away. As you grow as a child of God, your children will come to know God and grow as His children as well.